Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Five Strategies To Capture Readers' Attention And Get Them To Read On.

"Five Headline Formulas That Get Attention," a recent post by copywriter Julie Eason on the Virtuosi Media blog, recommends five simple headline structures that capture readers' attention. She writes, "No matter what the purpose of the writing is — to get a sale, to generate a lead or even just to entertain — it's the headline's job to get the reader to move to the next line. If the headline doesn't grab the reader's attention and make him continue reading, it has failed.

Let's take a look at her five headline structures and see how they can work for you.

Structure One: How to _______ so that _______.

Example: How to Do Bench Presses So that You Will Never Strain Your Back

Even if people already know how to do what you are promising to tell them, they will read your copy to determine if you know something they don't.

Structure Two: If _______, then _______.

Example: If You Paint with Durapaint, You Won't Have to Touch a Brush Again for 20 years

This set-up works well because it outlines a specific step for the customer to take, like trying a product. Eason says that this headline becomes even more compelling if you add the word "guaranteed" at the end.

Structure Three: Top _______, Tips for _______.

Example: Top Five Tips for Spotless Dishes and Tableware

This structure promises information that the reader assumes that he or she does not already know. According to Eason, this headline style works especially well to get people to download free white papers and reports.

Structure Four: _______Reasons _______ is Better than _______.

Example: Seven Reasons why Spray Painting Your House Is Better than Brushing

This gets people to read on because it challenges traditional wisdom. "People want to know why full-fat milk is better than skimmed," Eason writes, "or why public education is better than private."

Structure Five: _______ Most Common _______ Myths.

Example: The Five Most Common Car Washing Myths

This gets people to read on because it suggests that the reader has been taken in by a popular misconception or scam. Eason adds that this structure works even better if you tack on a negative consequence of believing the myths. Example: "10 Popular Diet Myths That Are Keeping You Fat."

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing - A Division Of The Pohly Company

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